Chocolate and Weight Loss
It would be a great day when chocolate can have a beneficial influence on weight management. Harvard actually published a study about chocolate and weight loss. However, before we get into that, let’s look at some other benefits of chocolate. Another study on the health benefits of chocolate focused on the dark variety. Dark chocolate has theobromine, which is a chemical called an alkaloid. Theobromine influences the brain by lifting the mood and influencing cognition.
Raw cacao beans are rising in popularity containing a significant number of antioxidants such as gallic acid epicatechin that is reduced during the processing of cacao beans into chocolate confectionary. Cacao also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavanol chemicals that are generally known to have positive effects upon cardiovascular health, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure.
Dark chocolate is rich in fat more so than in fiber and protein. However, it has iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and other minerals. To benefit from eating chocolate, the dark variety is best and the darker the better. Thus, go for a variety that is 70% or greater for the most flavanols. Thus, the intake although it is touting health benefits, still practice moderation in consumption and stay around less than two ounces per day to obtain the health benefits. On the other hand, consuming more than two ounces or 100g changes the effects from positive to negative effects of weight gain from the rich fats and calories.
As mentioned previously, chocolate may benefit weight loss. The Harvard study proposed that eating milk chocolate daily had a positive effect on menopausal women. The findings stated that the volunteers had a reduced energy intake, which was consistent with an observed reduction in hunger, appetite, and the desire for sweets manifesting in reduced weight. This is not to say we can forget restraint and gorge ourselves on sweet milk chocolate. At this point it should be added that this study was only conducted on 19 women and in Spain where the lifestyle is vastly different than here in America. Thus, the notable weight loss benefits from consuming 100g of chocolate in the morning or evening, might have been enhanced by the afternoon siesta common to the European lifestyle to destress helping to keep hormones balanced having a positive effect upon menopausal belly fat.